Allegory, fable, Holocaust saga, realistic fiction – somehow Ausubel combines these elements in an amazing novel that is much more than the sum of its genres. In 1939, when the horror of the impending Holocaust becomes undeniable, the residents of a remote Jewish village in Romania do just that: deny it. They declare the world newly made; the past and everything outside their community no longer exist. The novel’s narrator is 11 when the book begins, a young mother of two at its close. We see her improbable new world through the lens her extraordinary experiences and penetrating vision. This novel uses small details and quotidian moments to explore the essence of identity, family, community, and the nature and fluidity of reality.
February 2012 Indie Next List
“An isolated hamlet in south central Europe, 1939. The Jewish residents decide the only way to survive is cut all ties with the rest of the world and act is if the world is only what and who they see within their own village. A young girl shares the story of her community and how it changes. Imaginative, complex, and gently rewriting relationships, No One Is Here Except All of Us is hypnotic. I've never read anything like it.”
— Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA
In 1939, the families in a remote Jewish village in Romania feel the war close in on them. Their tribe has moved and escaped for thousands of years- across oceans, deserts, and mountains-but now, it seems, there is nowhere else to go. Danger is imminent in every direction, yet the territory of imagination and belief is limitless. At the suggestion of an eleven-year-old girl and a mysterious stranger who has washed up on the riverbank, the villagers decide to reinvent the world: deny any relationship with the known and start over from scratch. Destiny is unwritten. Time and history are forgotten. Jobs, husbands, a child, are reassigned. And for years, there is boundless hope. But the real world continues to unfold alongside the imagined one, eventually overtaking it, and soon our narrator-the girl, grown into a young mother-must flee her village, move from one world to the next, to find her husband and save her children, and propel them toward a real and hopeful future. A beguiling, imaginative, inspiring story about the bigness of being alive as an individual, as a member of a tribe, and as a participant in history, "No One Is Here Except All Of Us" explores how we use storytelling to survive and shape our own truths. It marks the arrival of a major new literary talent.
About the Author
Ramona Ausubel is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of California, Irvine. She has been published in "The New Yorker, One Story, The Paris Review Daily," and "Best American Fantasy." Ausubel is the recipient of the Glenn Schaeffer Award for fiction, and was a finalist for the Pushcart Prize. Shel lives in California. To learn more about Ramona Ausubel, please visit www.ramonaausubel.com.